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Can a Fentanyl Dealer be charged with Manslaughter? Concerns over the high incidence of deaths caused by fentanyl substances has motivated Ontario police and prosecutors to increasingly bring criminal charges against fentanyl dealers and traffickers who allegedly caused the death of a customer. Sep 26, 2019
You can’t be convicted of a Driving Offence simply because your Actions caused an Injury The severity of injuries suffered by an accident victim is not relevant in deciding whether an at-fault driver is guilty of a criminal driving offence. Accordingly, in a recent trial, a driver was acquitted on the charge of ‘failing to yield’ after his SUV struck and seriously injured a motorcyclist because the defendant took reasonable care in the circumstances. Sep 16, 2019
Defendant who was Sleepwalking is found ‘not Criminally Responsible’ for Sexual Assault A person may be found ‘not criminally responsible’ for an offence if they suffer from a mental disorder that prevents them from understanding that they were doing something wrong when they committed the illegal act. In a recent sexual assault trial, the defendant was found not criminally responsible for sexually assaulting a woman while sleepwalking. Jul 25, 2019
You face severe Penalties if you share Pot with an Underage Friend or Family Member If you share a joint or marijuana product with someone under the legal age for cannabis possession, which is 19 in Ontario, you are committing a criminal offence punishable by a maximum 14-year jail sentence. This penalty is much more severe than penalties for providing alcohol to a minor, and many critics say it's unreasonably harsh and most often targets young people. Jul 19, 2019
Police need Reasonable Suspicion for a Roadside Drug Test Police need grounds to form a reasonable suspicion that a driver has consumed drugs before they can legally demand fluids in a roadside check. Understand the penalties for drug-impaired driving. Mar 08, 2019
Carding - Know your Rights if you’re stopped for a ‘Street Check’ Understand your rights if you’re carded and when police randomly ask you for personal information or your ID. Jan 15, 2019
Mandatory Roadside Testing will make it easier for Police to detect Drunk Drivers Effective on December 18th, Canada’s Criminal Code allows police to demand a Breathalyzer test during a roadside stop without suspicion of drinking. Other changes to drunk-driving laws will simplify the processing of drunk-driving offences. Dec 18, 2018
Can the Defence present Evidence of a Complainant’s Sexual Activity in a Sexual Assault Case? Under Canada’s Criminal Code, evidence of a complainant’s sexual activity (other than the sexual activity that is the subject matter of the case) cannot be introduced at trial, unless a judge deems the sexual activity to be relevant or significant. Oct 29, 2018
Occupant in stopped Car is found ‘not guilty’ of DUI despite registering ‘over 80’ A man discovered behind the wheel of a disabled car at the side of the highway was found 'not guilty' of drunk driving when there was reasonable doubt that he was driving the car while drunk. Sep 04, 2018
Are Police still making Arrests for Marijuana Possession? While awaiting the legalization of marijuana, many Canadians are confused about the current penalties and whether they will be arrested and charged for possession before pot is decriminalized. Jul 13, 2018
Avoid stiff Penalties due to a Careless Driving Conviction Although Careless Driving is not a criminal offence in Ontario, a conviction may result in substantial penalties which particularly impacts people who drive for work. And, the penalties when careless driving results in injury or death may soon become more severe under newly proposed Ontario legislation. May 25, 2018
I’ve been proven Innocent - Can I sue for Malicious Prosecution? If you're found innocent after being maliciously prosecuted on criminal charges based on unreasonable grounds, you may sue the Crown or others who initiated the criminal charges. In a 2018 action, a B.C. couple successfully sued the Canada Revenue Agency for malicious prosecution and were awarded almost $1.4 Million in damages. Mar 27, 2018
Canada’s Jury Selection Process under Review after Gerald Stanley Murder Trial Public outcry after a jury found a Saskatchewan man ‘not guilty’ in the fatal shooting of a 22-year old First Nation’s man has resulted in questions whether Canada’s jury selection process is fair. Feb 20, 2018
Unreasonable Delay by the Crown results in Dismissal of Crown's Application to Extend Appeal of Fraud Charges The Crown sought to extend the appeal time for a case where a man was acquitted on a fraud charge. The court dismissed the Crown’s motion, finding that the Crown delayed in providing necessary legal documents, without reasonable explanation. Jan 16, 2018
Rules for admitting Expert Opinion Evidence in Criminal Trials Defence counsel or the Crown may challenge the admissibility of expert opinion evidence brought by the opposing side, and the judge must rule on whether the evidence is admissible, based on established case law principals. Nov 22, 2017
Drug Charges reduced from Trafficking to Possession Drug charges may be reduced from trafficking to possession when the amount of drugs could conceivably be for personal use, as in a recent Ontario case involving a man found in possession of oxycodone and morphine pills during a search pursuant to his arrest. Oct 11, 2017
Can Evidence of past Police Investigations be admitted in my Trial? In a 2017 criminal case involving a second-degree murder charge, a judge found that non-conviction incidents could not be presented by the Crown as evidence against the accused. Aug 22, 2017
Judge rules Defendant was Arbitrarily Detained when interrogated in Police Cruiser On Ontario judge dismissed an ‘over 80’ charge for a driver who was stopped for speeding and then interrogated at length in the arresting officer’s cruiser. Jul 19, 2017
Appeal Court dismisses minor Marijuana Possession Charge In a 2016 appeal on possession of only 1.15 g. of marijuana, the judge found that the arresting officer breached the accused’s Charter rights and in light of the fact that the charge fell in the low end of drug charges, the judge decided that an acquittal is in the best interests of justice. Jun 26, 2017
Judge doubts the Reliability of Complainants’ Testimony in Sexual Assault Case Three complainants in an extended family brought sexual assault charges against a relation, but an Ontario judge found their testimonies were inconsistent and not reliability and accordingly, the accused was acquitted on all charges. May 16, 2017
Dangerous Driving Conviction requires a 'Marked Departure', not a Standard of Perfection In a recent criminal trial, a judge dismissed charges of Dangerous Driving and Failing to Stop at the Scene against a TTC driver who accidentally and unknowingly struck and killed a girl. Apr 20, 2017
When is a Peace Bond the best Course of Action? Persons accused of criminal charges, such as domestic assault, are often given the option of entering a peace bond in exchange for the Crown withdrawing the criminal charge. This is an advantageous decision in many cases, but sometimes a peace bond may have negative consequences for the accused Apr 05, 2017
Judge upholds Acquittal on Impaired Driving Charge for Case involving Prescription Drugs combined with Alcohol On appeal, the judge upheld the acquittal of an impaired driving charge for a man who’s ability to drive was severely impacted after he combined a small amount of wine with a prescribed drug, Lorazepam. Mar 20, 2017
Ontario’s Attorney General calls for new Measures to speed up Criminal Trials In the wake of the July 2016 Supreme Court decision to limit the delays going to trial for criminal cases, Ontario’s Attorney General and others are calling for changes to facilitate a more prompt and just process. Mar 01, 2017
Are Canadian Courts applying the Law unfairly and too broadly for Sexual Assault Convictions involving ‘Positive-HIV Status’ A person may be convicted of sexual assault if they have positive-HIV status; they failed to inform their sexual partner of their condition before intercourse; and there’s a realistic possibility of transmitting HIV Feb 09, 2017
Acquittal on Drug Charges due to Serious Charter Rights Violations The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed drug charges and a ten-year sentencing conviction, after concluding that the police seriously violated several of the accused man’s Charter rights during his arrest. Jan 18, 2017
Our Right to be informed of our Rights to Counsel in our own Language In R. v. Khandal, a man was acquitted on ‘over 80’ charges because his Charter rights were violated when police failed to provide a Punjabi interpreter and make certain he understood his rights to counsel. Jan 06, 2017
Ontario Judge finds Accused’s Charter Rights were violated and dismisses ‘Over 80’ Charge An Ontario court acquitted a man on two DUI charges: ‘over 80’ charges were dismissed on a finding that the man’s Charter rights were violated on arrest; and he was acquitted of impaired drive due to reasonable doubt. Dec 13, 2016
Victim-Fine Surcharge: Blood from a Stone Canada's Minister of Justice recently announced plans to change the victim-fine surcharge regime, which since 2013, allows judges no discretion to reduce the surcharges for the poorest offenders or for victim-less crimes such as substance abuse offences. Oct 27, 2016
The Vader Case: A New Hope? The Travis Vader murder trial recently captured the attention of Canadians and was unusual in terms of being publicly broadcast and also because there was an immediate social media response by legal scholars who claim that the judge's reasons for his ruling are legally unsound. Sep 19, 2016
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